A 32-year-old man has been found guilty of the murder of a father-of-two after “taking advantage of the kindness” of his victim who let him stay at his home during lockdown.
Daniel Styles, of Clare Crescent, Leatherhead, killed Phillip Bagwell in an unprovoked attack in the Surrey town centre before leaving him in the communal lift of the block of flats where the 54-year-old victim lived.
He was convicted following a trial at Guildford Crown Court and will be sentenced on Friday.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Friday, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said that Styles had bullied Mr Bagwell and taken advantage of his kindness.
He said: “Our thoughts at this time are with Phillip’s family and friends and I hope that the outcome in court today will provide them with some answers as to how Phillip met his death, and help them begin to come to terms with what has happened.
“Daniel Styles killed Phillip in a brutal unprovoked attack in the early hours of the morning whilst they were out together in Leatherhead town centre.
“Styles punched and kicked Phillip about the head and body causing fatal injuries, before leaving him in the communal lift in the block of flats where Phillip lived.
“Phillip had allowed Styles to stay at his home during lockdown, where Styles went on to take advantage of his kindness, tormenting him, bullying him and treating Phillip’s home as his own.
“After the assault, Styles returned to Phillip’s flat where he went to sleep. Phillip was found the following morning.
“Phillip was a well-known figure in the local community, and Styles took advantage of his good nature and sought to exploit it. Phillip is survived by his two children.”
“Phillip grew up in the local area and was a friend to many people in and around Leatherhead – but to those of us who knew him for many years he was a good friend, always willing to listen and he had a true caring side.”
After his death, Mr Bagwell’s family said in a statement: “Phillip was a good dad and very proud of his two children who both loved him and will miss him. His family have many happy memories and loved him more than he will ever know.”